In the 21st century, almost no one works alone. Even if you have a job that permits you to work from home, you are still connected to colleagues, regardless of how near or far they may be. While individuals may achieve great breakthroughs and have inspiring visions (think Steve Jobs), it takes a collaborative effort to turn these ideas into a reality that can change the world.

4This is why we are interested in building a culture of collaboration at the Upper School. The introduction of Moodle (see below for a short video on how to log into Moodle) is just one of the tools that we are using. Another is the introduction of Google Apps for Education.

Similar to a personal Gmail account, Google Apps for Education provides a student with a basic e-mail account. Students can use this account to communicate with teachers, as well as with fellow students when working on group projects. More than this, Google Apps includes access to collaborative documents, spreadsheets and presentations, as well as the ability to upload and store other kinds of documents (e.g. Word files, pictures). The formula for student email addresses is first initial, last name and high school graduation year followed by @ssdsnassau.org. For example, Joe Smith (a 9th grader) is jsmith16@ssdsnassau.org. The 6th and 7th grade accounts are limited to send and receive emails to/from an @ssdsnassau.org address only. E-mail accounts are accessible via www.gmail.com. Students should enter their full e-mail address as their username.

Another collaborative effort is also underway as we have partnered with Paul Effman Music to kick-off our Middle School band program. Students listened and watched examples of a variety of instruments that they will have the ability to learn and explore through the after-school band program. Interest was high as the students heard the theme from the Super Mario games played on the flute. They even broke out in song themselves as a teacher played Hava Negillah on the clarinet. We are looking forward to seeing the students take the stage themselves in the future.

Of course, the highlight of my weekend (besides celebrating Rosh HaShanah with my family) was attending the High School Shabbaton. We were blessed with glorious weather and a fabulous program organized through the collaborative efforts of Mike Hirsch, Rabbi Josh, Senora Cahn, and the Student Council. Please check out the blog post from Paw Print Now that shares the student perspective on the Shabbaton.

G’mar Chatimah Tovah!

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